- Christian Challenges, March, 1998, has an excellent report on "Christian Persecution" (p. 38). It is likely that "more Christians have been martyred in the 20th century than in ALL OTHER CENTURIES COMBINED!" The official statistics in Russia indicate that between 1917 and 1989, two hundred thousand bishops, priests, deacons, monks, and nuns were executed by the Soviet regime by crucifixion, shooting, strangulation, drowning, etc. This figure does not include the laity. Another half a million died in slave labor camps. Two or three million Armenian Christians were killed by Turks and Kurds, and many Greek and Assyrian believers. Then, too, we can add Sudanese and other African Christians to the list, victims of Islam. (Red China has added to the toll of victims.)
A horrifying aspect of all this, we must add, has been the indifference of Western political leaders, the media and Christians to this growing horror.
At the same time, a prominent evangelist has been ready to praise corrupt politicians and to give honor to persecuting tyrants — and he is defended by churchmen and church periodicals!
- Reason, January, 1979, had an interesting story about dihydrogen monoxide. Nathan Zohner, an Idaho junior high student, used it at a science fair project; and the European Science and Environmental Forum asked Londoners for their views on the substance in a preliminary test. Dihydrogen monoxide is a major component of acid rain, as a vapor a major greenhouse gas, and damages automobile brakes; an accidental inhalation can be fatal. Three fourths of those questioned said dihydrogen monoxide should be strictly regulated or even banned. Only 5% realized that dihydrogen monoxide is water! How you frame a question can determine results, especially when people will not admit their ignorance.
The same issue of Reason also reviews two new books which view the automobile as the curse of our time, a destroyer of urban life, scenery, air quality, and more. The authors are not honest enough to take the stand of Woodrow Wilson when president. He had no objection to limousines for the rich, but the Model T Ford shocked him because it gave too much freedom to the common man.
Our current elitists are not as honest. Cheap and personally controlled transportation revolutionized life. In the horse and buggy era, transportation meant much land was tied up growing hay. Manure was the worst pollutant cities have ever seen, a major health problem. Urban epidemics were then more common. Air quality has improved in cities since the advent of automobile transportation. We have been the target of propaganda which would turn us into a proletarian mass. The automobile has been a great boon to man. The anti-auto lobby wants to push down the common man into a controllable status. I see only foolishness or evil in the anti-auto lobby. Steven Hayward's review is rightly titled "The Quest for the Holy Rail." (For too many people, the solution to world problems is to control other people. For Christians, it is to be changed by God. The difference is between slavery and freedom.)
- Daily the news grows more grim and the focal point of evil is less Moscow and more Washington, D. C. The evils we faced here in the 1910s and 1920s were real, and now they are worse as our apostasy bears fruit. I am reminded of a comment made by one writer in the 1950s, namely that Washington, D. C. was a city full of churches but lacking a thimble-full of real faith. Going to church there has become more and more a political act and less and less a Christian one: "There is no fear of God before their eyes." People who do not believe in God have no fear of him. He is to them only an Idea, a good Idea, but no more. They therefore do not take his law-word seriously. God as an Idea does not threaten man, and so he is readily tolerated and is acceptable to many. God as the supreme and Triune Person who is the Lawgiver is resented. Some of my critics act as if I invented theonomy, although the Bible proclaims it! Is this not a form of unbelief?
- At 82, my time may be short, and I am working hard to get some more writing done. The trustees have separated me from other duties. Pray that I can, despite failing health, conclude my writing tasks.